Diaspora #14 (napowrimo)

Once you owned a precious emerald green jade stone ring, set in 18 karat gold. You were barely twenty. Your then Dutch-Indonesian father-in-law had smuggled the ring and other jewels into America during Suharto’s dictatorship. He told his Americanized sons to sell the jewels. Daily, he sat on a wooden chair like a stained tea cup on a wobbly table, white V-necked undershirt, tropical shorts, under the dilapidated porch roof of your sister in law’s house in Pasadena. He smoked hand-rolled Douwe Egberts tabak, one after another, waiting for his meals to be cooked and served. He waited for the money to roll into his pockets. Nothing happened. Eventually heartbroken and poor he left. His sons were ashamed. The emerald green stone fell out of the gold setting, you were guilty of an empty mounting.

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